Singing the Blues
Family-Friendly Gets Fresh: Pretty colors and classic finishes make an expanded kitchen feel like home
The Challenge: The owners of this suburban Denver home were tired of navigating a cramped, dated kitchen. With lots of children and grandchildren showing up for family gatherings, they needed more space and a smarter layout. “They wanted to open up the kitchen, living room and family room and create a great room with plenty of space for a nice, big kitchen,” says interior designer Ingrid Fretheim of Ingrid Fretheim Interiors. “A place where everyone could be together.”
Design Solution: A Provence blue La Cornue range set the stage for the design. “The homeowners fell in love with the range and we decided to match the island to that color,” says kitchen designer Terri Rose of Exquisite Kitchen Design. “It was a pretty bold move.” Ivory cabinetry on the perimeter of the L-shaped kitchen tempers the blue and adds interest with furniture-like details: legs, crown molding, a wood-paneled stove hood and varied upper cabinet heights. Texture comes into play with hand-painted and glazed backsplash tiles, leathered Tidal White granite countertops and an end-grain white oak accent counter. Open shelving and glass-front cabinets display bright accessories, while handmade wool rugs pull together all the colors in the room. The result, says Fretheim, is a “timeless and traditional kitchen with a bit of European sophistication.”
Clean and Simple: A sleek design allows mountain views to shine in this highly functional custom kitchen
The Challenge: The owner of a new contemporary home in Breckenridge told Kathye Conti, CKD, of Kitchenscapes, Inc., that her vision for the kitchen was a space so clean and simple that she could almost hose it down. “It was all about form and function for her,” Conti says. The kitchen also needed to meet two specific objectives: to honor the connection with nature and to provide a custom design for the avid cook and baker.
Design Solution: The crisp blue-and-white palette plays off views of mountains and sky on display through a stunning wall of windows. Deep blue cabinetry has a high-gloss foil finish that contrasts beautifully with stainless steel and three different countertop materials: white quartz, a concrete-and-glass composite and lighted glass. To accommodate the homeowner’s love of baking, the designer added two raised ovens that flank a cabinet for housing baking supplies and tools. An induction cooktop and two gas burners stand by for any cooking project and an oversized downdraft offers ventilation without blocking views. An art glass bowl from Pismo provides a dramatic finishing touch.
In a feat of engineering, Conti meticulously aligned the cabinets along a curved window wall and worked in multiple dishwasher drawers, a steam/microwave oven, a built-in coffee bar, two recycling stations and a wide refrigerator/freezer. “People spend a lot of time thinking about their dream kitchen,” Conti says, “and most custom kitchens are designed around the appliances.”
Hearth and Home: A new home takes cues from the past with rustic, Old-World materials and styles
The Challenge: Designed for an active young family, this newly built home has an aged aura that fits right into Denver’s venerable Observatory Park neighborhood. The homeowners, Stephen Martin and Lucie Lawrence, desired a kitchen that had an open floor plan and modern conveniences, yet embraced old fashioned elements. “We envisioned a warm, cottage-style kitchen where family gathers around the hearth,” Martin says.
Design Solution: The focal point of the room is a modern-day hearth—a stone niche that “harkens back to old cooking fireplaces,” says architect Bryan Gunn of Studio Gunn Architecture. Gunn maximized the footprint of the room with long banks of perimeter cabinetry and a large, hard-working island that provides prep and eating space and abundant storage. The homeowners worked with kitchen designer Mary Jenkins of BKC Kitchen & Bath to select vintage-inspired elements such as the butcher block countertop, wood cabinets in two different styles and colors, bin pulls, bubble glass door inserts and subway tiles. The dishwasher and microwave are hidden behind cabinetry, while plates are stored on an open rack above the farmhouse sink. “Even with all the old fashioned elements, it is still a very modern, functional layout that accommodates family life,” Gunn says.
Tuscan Retreat: A New World home boasts a kitchen with Old World charm
The Challenge: When kitchen designer Nabeel Faizi of William Ohs was hired to design the kitchen for this newly constructed 13,000-square-foot home in Pueblo, the first thing he did was ask the clients to describe the style of their home’s architecture. After some consideration, they came up with “Southern Villa.” And for the kitchen? “The client wanted to create a room that, like the rest of the house, evoked Old World grandeur,” Faizi says. “But they also wanted a manageable working space”—a place where they could actually cook and entertain. When Faizi suggested a Tuscan-style kitchen the clients immediately got on board.
Design Solution: The biggest challenge, says Faizi, was working with such a grand volume of space. “We wanted to design it so that every appliance and fixture was within reach, but we also needed to balance elements to fill the room.” The solution was a U-shaped layout with two seven-foot islands—one that would function as the workspace, the other as a serving area. To evoke the craftsmanship and ornate details of a traditional Tuscan kitchen, Faizi assembled a mix of finishes, including crown moldings and pilaster details that make the cabinets feel like pieces of antique furniture. The wood throughout is alder, but the finishes vary greatly to create warmth and interest: the perimeter of the kitchen is ivory; the armoire that houses the Sub-Zero refrigerator is celadon; and the butler’s pantry is papyrus with custom etching.
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